Kansas coach who survived lung transplant dies of virus

COFFEYVILLE, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas football coach who survived and even resumed coaching following a double-lung transplant three years ago has died of COVID-19 complications.

Aaron Flores, 50, of Coffeyville, died last week following a battle with the virus, the Wichita Eagle reported. Flores had been the head football coach of the school’s Red Ravens football team until a progressive lung disease required him to undergo the lung transplant in 2018.

Despite the nine-hour operation and three months of rehabilitation, Flores was able to return to the sidelines for the 2019 season. Last year, he transitioned to student affairs director at the school. Family and friends say the transplant allowed him to enjoy life without the oxygen tank, voice amplifier and golf cart he previously had relied on to get through each day.

In December, he and three other members of his immediate family were diagnosed with the virus in mid-December, and Flores was flown to the Omaha, Nebraska, hospital where he had received the transplant to be treated. He died there Friday.

Flores is survived by his wife, Kristen Flores, and their two daughters, 10-year-old Ryann and 9-year-old Haley.